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William Mayne is an astonishing writer and this is a wonderful book, a story of love, not lurve, of trying to make sense of self and others and --- language. Victoria, short-sighted, in a new place and unsure of so many relationships, writes her diary for this one long day, with continual punning misspellings so that even words seemed to have moved house. What for her father is 'veridical' is for her 'very dicule --- a different reallyality'. Alongside her story there is Paul's, the shy local boy who has fallen in love with Victoria. To talk with her means losing his Bristol accent, leaving him with 'clean lips' but 'more was taken away than was given'. At the end of a long day of losing and finding, Victoria and Paul are together at the Midnight Fair and she has thrown away her glasses and diary having written: 'I am a new snake, casting off my old eyescales. I can see in and out better. It all adds up, not like mock turtle soup. Things actually happen in a muddle, but all at once you get out of the spaghet-me-knot, and here I am.'